Asians Are More Than Terrorists and Samurai

If you love to watch movie trailers, you might have seen the promo for the upcoming film Olympus Has Fallen. The film depicts the story of an American president (Aaron Eckhart) who has been taken hostage by North Korean terrorists, while a former Secret Service agent (Gerard Butler) attempts to rescue him. The trailer is gripping and entertaining for action movie enthusiasts. But after my husband watched it, his first reaction was this: “Yet another movie where Asians are portrayed as the bad g … [Read more...]

The Paralysis of Having Too Many Cultural Choices

Today, we have more access to greater amounts of culture (books, movies, music, etc.) than any preceding generation. Devices like iPads and Kindles, streaming services for music and movies, and online retailers have placed vast amounts of information at our fingertips -- literally, in some cases. Indeed, it can be rather mindboggling, though we don't often think about it due to its ubiquity. Really, how often do we think that the iPhone in our hand can easily hold thousands of books, or tens of … [Read more...]

Pop Culture 180, Part 6: Twitter Vs. Books… No Contest

This is the sixth (and final) post of the Pop Culture 180 experiment, in which I gave up reading books and other print media and replaced them with social networking for more than one week. For more information, read this introduction post. Then, read parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.Maybe I approached this a little different from Rich.Experiments are great, but the simple fact is that they are hard to control. This one was no exception. Rich is right that it imperfectly measures our responses to a … [Read more...]

Pop Culture 180, Part 5: Video Games Vs. Books… a Fight to the Death?

This is the fifth (and my final) post of the Pop Culture 180 experiment, in which I will gave up video games and replace them with reading for more than one week. For more information, read this introduction post. Then, read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.Let's be honest about this: our little experiment didn't really prove anything. It was rife with flaws. Going without video games and replacing them with reading confuses the question of whether the lack of video games or the binge reading is what is … [Read more...]

Pop Culture 180, Part 4: I Can't Quit! And Do Meanlingless Comments Represent Real Relationships?

I am absolutely addicted to reading.The withdrawal symptoms are clear. Within 6 hours of our Pop Culture 180 start time, I was wandering the shelves at Barnes and Noble, looking at titles I could not allow myself to open. I think about books at least twenty times per day. I keep looking at my hands, whenever I have a spare 5-20 minutes, thinking, "shouldn't they be holding something?" I sit down in my work break room, then stand up again- I have no reason to sit there if I cannot read. I … [Read more...]

Pop Culture 180, Part 3: I Told You I Could Quit… But Now I Dislike People.

This is the third post of the Pop Culture 180 experiment, in which I will give up video games and replace them with reading for more than one week. For more information, read this introduction post.I am pleased to announce that as far as I can tell, in the midst of my endeavor I have not found myself to be a video game addict. Though many anticipated typical withdrawal symptoms, I have suffered nothing of the sort. I haven't even found myself beginning to pick up the controller out of habit. I … [Read more...]

Pop Culture 180, Part 2: Giving up The Great Conversation to tell you what I had for lunch.

My relationship with books is an old one. I’m told that I learned to read at age four.  Somehow the world of words captured me and I never looked back.  Once I asked my father whether my siblings and I were hard to control, and he said, “Well, you were normal kids, except that if we wanted you to be quiet we would just pull out a book.  You would immediately sit down and become completely absorbed in the story.” This continued as I grew older.  One of my earliest and clearest memories is finishin … [Read more...]

Pop Culture 180, Part 1: Giving up Halo for E.M. Forster

This is the first post of the Pop Culture 180 experiment, in which I will give up video games and replace them with reading for more than one week. For more information, read this introduction post.My renewed relationship with video games has been a fairly recent one. It began at the same time my relationship with books broke down. I guess you could call video games a rebound relationship.I have always had an appreciation for books. I grew up reading them, and have a few novels of which I am … [Read more...]

Introducing: The Pop Culture 180

In our last podcast, Ben and I unveiled and discussed our participation in The Pop Culture 180, a special feature that will begin Monday (or now if you count this post) in which Ben and I write 3 articles in relatively real time about an experiment we are in the midst of. What's the experiment? To give up the medium we most enjoy for a medium we have neglected for a week. For me, it means giving up video games for reading. For Ben, it means giving up reading for social media. This began midnight … [Read more...]

Tricky Surfing: Reality TV's Good Waves, Evil Undertow

Real World. Road Rules. Remember when these two shows comprised the entirety of “reality television”? Now, it seems that every cable channel fields multiple reality shows.  These programs generally cover a type of life or work or show intense and dramatic competition. We are drawn to these shows, watching them enough to perpetuate their presence on cable and network television. Why is this the case?On one level, our humanity drives our interest. Scripture shows us that as human beings we long f … [Read more...]


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